Beauty is Child's Play


It seems that Suri Cruise, Blue Ivy and North West are not alone in their love of beauty products, as new research from Mintel reveals that as many as 80% of all U.S. 9 to 11 year olds use beauty and personal care products.

Across the nation, American tweens and teens are indulging in makeup. More than half of U.S. 12 to 14 year olds use mascara (54%), as well as eye shadow, eye liner and eyebrow pencils (54%). Meanwhile, some 45% use foundation/concealer, 30% use blush/bronzer and 10% use hair coloring products.

And beauty isn’t just the preserve of young girls: while 90% of girls aged 9 to 17 are beauty product users, today, seven in 10 (69%) boys of the same age enjoy a touch of beauty.

It seems you are never too young for a beauty regimen, as Mintel research indicates that a love of beauty starts early. One quarter of boys and two in five (39%) girls aged 6 to 8 use body spray, perfume and cologne, while 27% of boys and 35% of girls use hair styling creams, gels, lotions, spritz and tonic. And another one in 20 (5%) boys and 45% of girls aged 6 to 8 use lipstick and lip gloss.

Although more than half (56%) of U.S. teens say they use makeup to express themselves and their style, confidence is a major driver behind beauty and personal care product usage. Some 42% of U.S. teens aged 12 to 14 who use beauty and personal care products do so because it makes them feel more confident, rising to well over half (56%) of those aged 15 to 17. One in seven (16%) U.S. kids aged 12 to 14 use personal care products to look older/more grown up, with young boys (19%) more likely than girls (14%) to feel the pressure to look good. (Mintel defines U.S. tween girls and boys as those aged 9 to 11 and teen girls and boys as those aged 12 to 17.)

“Beauty awareness starts at an early age, and tweens/teens are becoming increasingly savvy due to the popularity of YouTube beauty tutorials,” says Margie Nanninga, beauty analyst at Mintel. “But it is certainly not just girls looking to express themselves through the use of beauty and personal care products as our research reveals that boys show a strong interest in male grooming products. Although self-expression is key to makeup usage, it’s evident that half of teenagers use makeup to feel more confident.”

Mintel research indicates that teen girls in particular are looking for relatable spokespeople as, overall, more than one third (36%) of all 12 to 17 year old beauty product users are eager to see people who are not airbrushed in beauty and personal care advertisements, with girls (41%) twice as likely as boys (21%) to say this. What’s more, half (51%) of teens are looking for a spokesperson who is “like them.”

It is clear that in beauty and personal care advertising, different spokespeople appeal to different genders, as teenage boys are particularly interested in seeing celebrities (40%) and athletes (33%); however, teen girls are considerably less moved by the use of celebrities (26%) and athletes (17%) than their male counterparts.

Meanwhile, Hispanic teens are largely influenced by the use of famous people (43%), and as many as 71% use products with celebrities in their ads compared to 54% of U.S. teens overall. Additionally, two thirds (65%) of Hispanic teens use products with celebrity names on the packaging compared to 45% of all U.S. teens.


Upping the Private Label Game among America’s Multicultural Households

Nielsen notes store brands, private-label share of retail sales grew from 16.2% to 17.4% between 2009 and 2011, with year-over-year sales growth outpacing brands by a significant margin.

But the U.S. economy has since been on the upswing, and consumers are looking beyond price. According to a recent Nielsen report on the global retail landscape, consumers called out the importance of quality, availability and convenience as key factors driving their purchase decisions. So while private label growth was comparable but slightly greater than that of brands since 2012, growth patterns reversed in 2015 and into 2016, resulting in flat to slightly declining private brand share.

Still, Nielsen research continues to illustrate high consumer interest in store brands. More than two-thirds of total U.S. households (70%) agree that store brands are a good alternative to name brand products. Nearly a decade after the recession, private-label products can be found in virtually all U.S. households. So what’s behind this trend of private and branded products leveling out and private shares slipping? Are brands out-promoting private label? Or with an improved economy, are fewer households turning to private label products in an effort to save money? What other factors are at play?

Through Nielsen Homescan data, it’s apparent that private brands have lower share among the top multicultural segments that are driving non-white population growth in the U.S. These groups—Hispanics, Asian-Americans and African-Americans—spend more on branded items and relatively less on store brands. In particular, while annual branded and store brand buying rates among Asian and African-American households are lower than total white non-Hispanic households, they’re especially low for store brands, where African-Americans households spend 18% less annually and Asian-American households spend 22% less.

Not only are multicultural consumers less likely to buy private label, they’re also more likely to have negative perceptions toward these products. These population segments are more likely to:

• Call out poor store brand packaging

• Question quality

• Believe that store brands are only for people on tight household budgets.

These negative perceptions likely influence multicultural consumers’ purchase behavior and may contribute to private label’s recent share decline.

With the diverse population in the U.S. quickly growing, retailers and manufacturers may need to take a closer look at how they are marketing store brands to once again grow private label share. Without the critical component of effective in-store, out-of-store and online marketing, multicultural shoppers may bypass private label altogether if it does not reach them in a way that leaves a connected and lasting impression.



PAC Competition Adds Luxury Category

The 2017 Global Leadership Awards Competition is now accepting submissions at of all packages designed, manufactured and in market after January 1, 2015. The contest, which moved to an online submission system last year is open to retailers, brand owners, branding and design agencies, package container and technology processors, and raw material manufacturers. The winners from the 2017 Competition will be celebrated at the Awards Gala Dinner and Ceremony on January 25, 2017, at the Package Design Matters Conference in Bonita Springs, FL (

PAC president and CEO James Downham has announced that this year’s contest will have an increased focus on the luxury market, in response to the growing influence of this segment on the entirety of the CPG world. To usher in this new era for the contest, PAC has invited Dustin Wills, director of the Americas and Caribbean for UK-based MW Luxury Packaging located in NYC, to be part of the competition’s steering committee.

Package Design spoke to Wills about the competition and upcoming Awards Gala, and he expressed excitement to see the intersection of design and manufacturing that will be represented by the winners. He also noted that the contest will be important to brand owners. “It’s important if you’re a brand owner to keep your finger on the pulse of the design and packaging industry so you know what is new and what is available in the market,” says Wills. “We are in a period of great change and technological advancement and if you don’t stay in that loop you run the risk of being left behind. Also, the caliber of professionalism and talent at the event is second to none and I think it’s important to continue developing and nurturing relationships because you never know when those relationships will be critical for you.”


Best of show winners from last year’s competition include:

PAC Packaging Best of Show Award:

Grant’s Elementary Range by Webb de Vlam


Webb de Vlam, now part of the Sgsco collective, designed the new packaging for the Grant’s Elementary range, as a vehicle to accelerate the brand’s growth. The project required a mix of creativity and strategy to create the designs, which speaks to a broad spectrum of consumers across the globe. The final designs aim to communicate the product’s unrivalled quality and substance while educating the consumer, a method which looks to drive reappraisal of the brand while still carrying the same look and feel to Grant’s Family Reserve.


Package Design Best of Show Award:

Goodtimes by Bridgemark

To differentiate in store, the package design needed to express the playfulness of the brand. The colorful spoons inside the pack are creatively incorporated into the design and the critter on-pack comes to life with an all-panel illustration that injects fun and good feelings for mom, the intended target market, and kids alike.

Overall, the design creates an engaging and interactive consumer response while providing a complete retail-ready solution for retailers. The fun, creative design continues to sell after leaving the store by providing an attractive package with an easy open and close structure that encourages product storage and package display.